US 3618966 A
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Unite States Patent  Inventor James R. Vandervest  References Cited Muskeg Mlch- UNITED STATES PATENTS l i l d No' iii/ 3 459,365 9/1891 Linden t. 280/4324 [ Painted 3 1971 2,094.522 9/1937 Blake 280/4324 3,534,974 l0/l970 Jerrard r. 280/4324  Assignee E. H. Sheldon and Company Muskegon, Mich. Primary E.raminer--Benjamin Hersh Assislan! Examiner-Robert R. Song Attorney Dawson, Tilton. Fallon & Lungmus ABSTRACT: A cabinet or support structure is equipped with [541 THEREOF [N RAISED raise the wheel hubs and thereby the wheels so that the bottom 4 Claims 17 Drawin Fi S of the cabinet can seat on the floor or floor carpet, and when g g the axle is rotated to lower the hubs, the cabinet can then be  US. Cl 280/43.l7, moved on the large wheels together with edge-supported 280/4324 casters. Means are provided for angling the wheel hubs in  Int. Cl t 21/14 positions for supporting the wheels in raised and lowered osi.  Field of Search 280/4324, tions, and means are also provided for limiting the withdrawal 43.17; 287/58 CT ofthe axle-rotating means.
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HJVIiN'IUR James R. Vondervesf BY @aa/zwm oLlZtovw, 7M7?) W ATTORNEYS MOBILE CABINET AND ANCHOR MEANS FOR SUPPORTING THE WHEELS THEREOF IN RAISED AND LOWERED POSITIONS BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY It is desired to have a cabinet or similar structure which will seat flat on the floor or floor carpet with great stability while it is being used, while also providing means for rendering the cabinet mobile and preventing it from digging deeply into carpets or other floor mounting. Carpeted areas present a problem for the moving and locating of cabinets in that wheels or casters on the cabinets tend to dig holes in carpets, leaving unsightly scars, and when it is desired to move the cabinet on wheels the holes present steep inclines that the wheels or casters have to climb out of before normal rolling movement is realized.
The problem can be overcome by employing large wheels mounted on hubs that are eccentrically supported upon an axle so that with the axle in one position, the cabinet will rest with great stability on its base on the carpet, thus presenting a broad area of contact, while when the axle is rotated to lower the wheel hubs or mountings, the cabinet will then be carried by the wheels for movement over the carpet, and this movement is aided by antifriction rollers or glides at the edges of the carpet, such edges being preferably cut away to render the rollers effective only when the cabinet is tilted by the lowering of the wheels. To prevent rotational friction from moving the assembly to down position when moving the cabinet, I have provided a double keyholed plate fastened to the face of the cabinet and the axle-turning shaft has two lugs welded on each side to engage the keyhole slots in either position. Also I have provided a latch for limiting the withdrawal of the axle-operating crank arm.
DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings FIG. 1 is a broken side view in elevation of the cabinet at rest on the floor or carpet and with the wheels above the floor;
FIG. 2, a view similar to FIG. I but showing the cabinet in a raised and tilted position for movement to another location;
FIG. 3, a broken enlarged view of the lower portion of the cabinet showing the wheels in raised position and with a crank arm pulled out and turned sideways as the first step in lowering the large wheels for movement of the cabinet;
FIG. 4, a view similar to FIG. 3 but showing the crank arm turned 90 for lowering the wheels and thus raising the cabinet half of the desired distance;
FIG. 5, a view similar to FIG. 4 but showing the crank arm turned the full l80 so that the cabinet is raised for movement across the carpet, in dotted line the crank arm being shown pushed into the cabinet for locking the crank in this position during the moving operation;
FIG. 6, a perspective view ofthe crank arm;
FIG. 7, an enlarged broken detailed view of the crank arm and retainer plate;
FIG. 8, a broken detailed sectional view showing the latch of the crank arm shaft engaging a recess in the hollow axle;
FIG. 9, a sectional view, the section being taken as indicated at line 9-9 ofFIG. 10;
FIG. 10, a transverse sectional view, the section being taken as indicated at line 10-10 ofFIG. 9;
FIG. 11, a broken perspective view of the large wheels and axle;
FIG. 12, a sectional view showing the wheel hubs in down position and with the wheels inoperative;
FIG. 13, a view similar to FIG. 12 but broken away to show the crank arm partially withdrawn and with the latch in engagement with a recess in the axle;
FIG. 14, a view similar to FIG. 13 but showing the crank arm partially rotated in raising or lowering the wheels;
FIG. 15, a view similar to FIG. 14 but showing the crank arm further rotated to lower the wheels for operative position;
FIG. 16, a view similar to FIG. 15 and showing the crank arm telescoped within the hollow axle; and
FIG. 17, an exploded perspective view showing all of the parts of the cabinet except the drawers and some attachment parts.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION The cabinet described herein is illustrative of various types of articles or support structures which may be used with the present invention and the term cabinet" is therefore employed in the broad sense of a support type of structure.
The cabinet is one with a broad base adapted to seat upon a carpeted floor without damaging the floor and presenting a highly stable structure for use as a fixed cabinet. The mobile means which are disclosed are out of the way and preferably concealed and are utilized only when it is desired to move the cabinet to another location. For moving the cabinet to another location, the mechanism disclosed provides rotatable wheel hubs or wheel supports mounted eccentrically upon an axle, the axle being rotatable to lift the wheel hubs so that the wheels rest above the floor, or to lower the wheel hubs so that the wheels engage the floor and raise the cabinet. For rotating the axle, I provide a crank which is normally concealed within the axle but which may be withdrawn to an angular position so as to rotate the axle. When the axle has been rotated either to raised or lowered position, the crank may be bolted and moved within the axle for concealing it while also providing locking means for holding the elevated or lowered wheel in its adjusted position.
To prevent rotational friction, when moving the cabinet, from flipping the assembly to the down position, I have fastened to the face of the cabinet a plate having at least one laterally extending slot and preferably two oppositely extending slots (like a keyhole) and the square operating shaft for rotating the axle has a lateral lug or lateral lugs engaging the slot or slots so as to maintain the hubs in their raised or lowered positions. When the shaft is withdrawn to crankoperating position the lugs are also withdrawn and the shaft can be rotated.
By providing the cabinet at its forward or rear edges or at both edges with casters and preferably cutting away the corner edges, it is found that when the cabinet is tilted upon the large center wheels the cabinet structure is easily carried by the set of casters at one edge together with the large wheels. At the same time, when the large wheels are raised, not only the large wheels but also the casters are located above the floor or carpet and do not prevent the broad base of the cabinet from effectively serving as a stable base.
Referring to the drawings, a cabinet 20 is in general appearance a typical two-door 21 type, with a full skirt 22 extending to the floor 23 in front and rear, the skirt being cut away slightly at the corners and ends 24 to allow the small casters 25 to protrude slightly.
The cabinet has two broad bottom panels 26 on which it sets when being used, and this prevents the cabinet from sinking into the pile of the rug or carpet and making unsightly holes.
The cabinet-lifting mechanism consists of a cylindrical axle housing 27 which is attached to the cabinet bottom 28 by two plates 29 and 30. Within the axle housing is the axle 34 which is square in cross section.
On the axle 34 fits two wheel hubs or bearings 36 with a square hole 37 being eccentrically located within the hubs, and on the hubs rotate the large wheels 38 having concentric round holes 39 receiving the hubs.
The crank 40 consists of a square tubular body 41 which slides inside the square axle 34 and an arm 42 which can assume two positions, (1) parallel to the body when it is in the axle, or (2) perpendicular to the body for raising and lowering the cabinet.
As shown best in FIGS. 6, 8 and 9, the shaft 40 is provided at its inner end with a pivotally mounted latch 31 having a rear cam surface 32. The latch is urged upwardly by leaf spring 31a and is adapted to engage recess 33 in the axle 34 to limit outward movement of shaft 40.
As shown best in FIG. 7, I provide the crank arm 42 adjacent the knob or end cap 48 with a pair of oppositely disposed lugs or wings 43 and 44 which are adapted to engage lateral slots 45 and 46 in retainer plate 47 which is fastened by screws or the like to the frontpiece 49 of the cabinet 20.
The cabinet itself may be of any suitable construction and the cabinet structure shown in the drawing is merely for illustration. In the drawing, the cabinet consists of a top panel 51 back panel 52, end panels 53 with adjustable shelving strips 54, rear corner pieces 55 and 56, front corner pieces 57 and 58, bottom piece 28, a lower broad bottom panel or base 26 spaced from bottom piece 28, upper frontpiece 59, lower frontpiece 49, and two multiple caster holders 60 each with four casters 25. The shelves are indicated by numeral 61 and there are two doors 21 not shown in FIG. 14. In the caster holder 60 at the left-hand side of FIG. 14, the casters do not appear because they are hidden from view. In the structure, it will be noted that there are two bottom panels which are spaced apart, the lower panel 26 serving as a broad base for the cabinet.
Basically the structure is successful because when the center wheels 38 are elevated, the angle of the cabinet is such that the bevel on the outer ends of the bottom parallels the floor line and exposes the bottom portion of the four small wheels or casters. When the cabinet is not being moved, it rests flat on the bottom 26 and the little wheels or casters 25 ride at about the floorline so that there is no pressure on them.
While in the foregoing specification I have set out a specific structure in considerable detail for the purpose of illustrating an embodiment of the invention, it will be understood that such details may be varied widely by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of my invention.
1. In a mobile cabinet structure adapted for stationary and mobile use on a floor, said cabinet having a frame with a base adapted to rest on the floor, an axle support carried by said frame, an axle rotatably mounted in said support, wheel hubs eccentrically mounted on said axle and rotatable therewith, wheels mounted on said hubs for rotation, and adapted to be moved to raised and lowered position by the rotation of said axle, the improvement which comprises providing axle-rotating means slidably received within said axle with laterally extending lug at one end thereof and a cooperating retainer plate fixed to said cabinet apertured to receive said axle-rotating means and having a lateral slot receiving said lug when said wheels are in raised and lowered positions.
2. The structure of claim I in which said axle-rotating means is provided with oppositely extending lugs received within oppositely extending slots in said plate.
3. The structure of claim I in which said first-mentioned means includes a crank shaft of square cross section fitting within a hollow axle square in cross section.
4. The structure of claim 3 in which said crank shaft is provided with a knob and said lugs are adjacent said knob.
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